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Old 12-08-2012, 05:23 PM
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Sparrow Sparrow is offline
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I have been researching possible future dogs for myself, and it's so much fun to do! I always assumed I'd only get shelter dogs, but I would really like to be able to get dogs I know all the history on, all the health info of the parents, grandparents, and so on, solid temperament info, have them raised exactly a certain way, etc. I know there are no perfect dogs that will never get sick or hurt, but I'd like to support the responsible breeders and take less chances for my own peace of mind. I'd like to feel like I have some idea on potential longevity, starting by going with a line of long-lived dogs.

I'm not sure if my future pup will happen anytime soon. My current dog doesn't do well with other dogs, so it would all depend on how much I can work on that with her. She is almost ten, so I'm not sure how fair it'd be. I think she'd love being around another dog again like she was when younger, but it would just depend on a lot with her.

What I am looking for:

A dog that is likely to have a very long lifespan, without health concerns. I have read some great things on lifespan from a few breeds, and this is a big priority for me. I can find all sorts of breeds I know I'd love, but I want to narrow it down to one that will be more likely to be with me for as long as possible. The one exception here is the Norwegian Lundehund, because I am in love with them, but even they are getting into the 14-year range now.

A dog that will be very devoted to me. I love the Pit Bulls I have been around. I love their love for people. I love the fact that they would be happiest if they could only get INSIDE of your skin so they can be as close as possible. My Zoe is Pit/Dane, and while her clinginess is annoying at times, I'm not sure I could live without it anymore. What can I say, I want a dog that is hopelessly in love with me. However, I also want it to be secure in itself. Devoted, but not anxiously so. I want it to be confident enough to be on its own, but just happens to love being with me.

Some of the breeds I am looking at are more independent, so I guess this may not be a deal-breaker.

A dog that will be my partner for long, difficult hikes and very long runs. I want a friend that is as eager to explore a mountain as I am, and that won't get bored or distracted or worn out if I want to hop out for a two hour run. I'm not fast, I just like being on my feet outside for hours. I want a dog with a medium density coat to protect from both the sun and the cold. I don't want to have to worry about overheating easily (I don't like the heat - I'm in Alaska - but it does still become an issue,) but I'd like it to have some protection from the snow and cold as well.

A dog that will be an axcellent agility candidate. I have become rather obsessed with agility. Even if Zoe was rock solid around other dogs, she has some knee and elbow issues, so I wouldn't get her into it. I want a dog that can do well and go far with me in this sport, and possibly flyball.

Depending on when I get the dog, and my other commitments at that time, I would really like to get involved in SAR. It's a huge thing to get into, but I'd really love to do it. I'd most likely want to work an HRD dog, but I'm not positive. Possibly tracking. I'd need a dog that can navigate rough trails. Small and agile enough to get around, but large enough to not be too fragile.

A temperament suitable for therapy work would be awesome. I work with severely emotional disturbed children at an elementary school, and know they have dogs at other local schools that are very helpful in keeping children with behavioral difficulties calm. This would need to be a bomb-proof dog, large enough that unintentional rough handling wouldn't be an issue, able to handle stress and behave in a calm and compassionate way. I'd love to visit the elderly as well, but I'm not sure how a drivey dog for running and agility fits into this mold. Maybe two different dogs. :-)

Able to get along with a Cockatoo. That might be a lot to ask for a drivey, toy/play-motivated dog (good for agility,) but I really don't want to have to split up my time with my bird and my time with a dog. I love that Zoe just ignores Poe when she is out.

I know that's a lot of stuff, but I'm in no hurry, and will eventually be getting multiple dogs anyhow. I mostly just want a go anywhere, do anything companion. Right now I am preferring dogs in the 20-40 pound weight range. I like how agile and quick they are, and they would be easier to deal with if they got injured during a hike or run.

I have a llist of breeds I love, but would like to see what others come up with. Thanks!

Last edited by Sparrow; 12-08-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:17 AM
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Oh, and I don't want to deal with DA issues again if I can help it, so a breed known for doing well with other dogs is needed. I don't care for dogs that think every human is their new best friend and must be smothered, but I would prefer a dog that isn't wary of strangers, either.

I'm really drawn to obscure breeds, for some reason, but am certainly not out for the cool factor.

Any ideas?
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:53 AM
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You might look into Treeing Walker Coonhounds. I've loved every one I've ever met. They might be a bit big though.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:49 AM
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A wirehaired pointing griffon is absolutely perfect for every single thing on your list except possibly the bird. All that stuff describes Charlie really well otherwise.

They're a bird dog, he was obsessed with birds but the one time he did manage to get at the ducks he just chased Johnny Walker into a corner, smashed his nose into Johnny, and pointed. We never had indoor birds so it may be possible to teach one from puppyhood to get along with a house bird.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:11 AM
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Here's some more specific info. If you want to hear the cons of owning one, I'll be happy to write that up later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
A dog that is likely to have a very long lifespan, without health concerns. I have read some great things on lifespan from a few breeds, and this is a big priority for me. I can find all sorts of breeds I know I'd love, but I want to narrow it down to one that will be more likely to be with me for as long as possible. The one exception here is the Norwegian Lundehund, because I am in love with them, but even they are getting into the 14-year range now.
14+ is pretty typical for a griff. They're extremely healthy as a breed too and most breeders are pretty rabid about doing all the OFA and other tests so it's easy to get health records on the different lines from the OFA database.

A dog that will be very devoted to me. I love the Pit Bulls I have been around. I love their love for people. I love the fact that they would be happiest if they could only get INSIDE of your skin so they can be as close as possible. My Zoe is Pit/Dane, and while her clinginess is annoying at times, I'm not sure I could live without it anymore. What can I say, I want a dog that is hopelessly in love with me. However, I also want it to be secure in itself. Devoted, but not anxiously so. I want it to be confident enough to be on its own, but just happens to love being with me.

Some of the breeds I am looking at are more independent, so I guess this may not be a deal-breaker.

Griffs are independent thinkers, but their priority is pleasing you. Unlike many other hunting breeds, they are a close working breed and intended to work with their handler on foot. Charlie behaved as if he had an invisible tether on him at all times. He's move out and around us in an asterisk pattern as we walked, never going more than 100 feet in any direction. I never had to teach him a recall it was sort of built in. They do love to be with you, do stuff with you, and hang out and cuddle when they're in the house.

A dog that will be my partner for long, difficult hikes and very long runs. I want a friend that is as eager to explore a mountain as I am, and that won't get bored or distracted or worn out if I want to hop out for a two hour run. I'm not fast, I just like being on my feet outside for hours. I want a dog with a medium density coat to protect from both the sun and the cold. I don't want to have to worry about overheating easily (I don't like the heat - I'm in Alaska - but it does still become an issue,) but I'd like it to have some protection from the snow and cold as well.

Holy crap they have stamina. I'd say that it's on par with a malinois or a catahoula, but supposedly they develop and off switch when they hit adulthood. Charlie was killed in an accident shortly before he turned 2, but in the last month I had him his brain had started making the switch to adult and he was turning into such an awesome dog. He was totally able to settle in the house, then go out and swim alongside my kayak in the cold ocean without any extra gear on for an hour+ which is really hard work. And he did it pretty regularly.

Their coat is a medium, dense wavy wire coat with a very very dense undercoat. Even when he'd be in the ocean that long he never got wet down to the skin. He'd swim in the ocean doing water retrieves off the beach every day in the middle of winter too. His daily exercise was usually running up and down a sheer cliff with a waterfall, fetching sticks (it was hard to wear him out so he'd settle.)


A dog that will be an axcellent agility candidate. I have become rather obsessed with agility. Even if Zoe was rock solid around other dogs, she has some knee and elbow issues, so I wouldn't get her into it. I want a dog that can do well and go far with me in this sport, and possibly flyball.

I don't do any of those sports, so can't give you any personal insight. There is a 4H leader around here who breeds them and a lot of her kids are having success in the agility and other sport rings with her puppies though. Anything that involves fetching, tracking, zooming around at high speeds, they're likely to excel at.


Depending on when I get the dog, and my other commitments at that time, I would really like to get involved in SAR. It's a huge thing to get into, but I'd really love to do it. I'd most likely want to work an HRD dog, but I'm not positive. Possibly tracking. I'd need a dog that can navigate rough trails. Small and agile enough to get around, but large enough to not be too fragile.

Charlie would have been AWESOME at SAR. My aunt is the SAR training officer for the county next to us and she loved him. If I'd had more money and time back then I would have totally gotten involved. His drives were all exactly perfect for it, all packaged up in a sturdy, healthy, medium sized utilitarian coated body. He was really awesome at tracking, and fun to take on hikes because he'd find and point all kinds of birds I never would have noticed. One time he found a freshly killed great horned owl, which is now on display at the Burke Museum.


A temperament suitable for therapy work would be awesome. I work with severely emotional disturbed children at an elementary school, and know they have dogs at other local schools that are very helpful in keeping children with behavioral difficulties calm. This would need to be a bomb-proof dog, large enough that unintentional rough handling wouldn't be an issue, able to handle stress and behave in a calm and compassionate way. I'd love to visit the elderly as well, but I'm not sure how a drivey dog for running and agility fits into this mold. Maybe two different dogs. :-)

He would have been good at that sort of thing when he settled down and got older. One thing about griffs is they have an incredible, incredible pain tolerance. He never once got uppity or miffed about anyone or anything bugging him. Every day when he came out of the ocean drenched in salt water, he'd run under the electric cow fence. And every time, the bottom wire would sit on his back for a second and go GZZZZTT!. He'd just kind of wiggle like, "hee hee, that tickles" and trot away. This was the same fence that sent our bull screaming and tearing across the pasture.

Able to get along with a Cockatoo. That might be a lot to ask for a drivey, toy/play-motivated dog (good for agility,) but I really don't want to have to split up my time with my bird and my time with a dog. I love that Zoe just ignores Poe when she is out.

This is the one iffy thing. It's definitely worth contacting some griff breeders to see if they think it's possible to teach one to leave house birds alone.


I know that's a lot of stuff, but I'm in no hurry, and will eventually be getting multiple dogs anyhow. I mostly just want a go anywhere, do anything companion. Right now I am preferring dogs in the 20-40 pound weight range. I like how agile and quick they are, and they would be easier to deal with if they got injured during a hike or run.

I have a llist of breeds I love, but would like to see what others come up with. Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:13 PM
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I think there's a TWC at a shelter up here. He seems like a really nice guy. Maybe a bit awkward in agility, though?

The WPG sounds like a really great dog! I'm sorry you lost your boy. I can't imagine losing a young dog. :-(

I haven't looked into bird dogs a whole lot because of my birds, but it's worth asking others, I think. I have two small birds that don't come out around other critters, but they'd need to be safe from cage plundering as well. They like my big dog, though, so they wouldn't mind being pointed at. Scout runs to the cage bars to stare at Zoe and talk to her when she looks in at them.

Poe doesn't like it when dogs stare at her, though. She doesn't mind them so long as they don't stare. If she feels threatened she will go into full display mode and scream - scares the living crap out of my foster cat - who won't go anywhere near her now! lol

I'll have to read up on them. They seem like really neat dogs. Thanks for all the great info on them. I'd love to hear all the not so fun stuff about life with them as well. I imagine they can get into a lot of trouble if you don't keep them busy.

I do like dogs with a high pain tolerance. I want to know if something needs fixed, but I don't want to hear drama about it! That's how Zoe is. Of course that's important for being around kids. I don't plan to ever have children, but I want a dog that can take their unintentional abuse without getting grouchy. Even if I don't do therapy work - though I'd love to - my brother is getting married, and I want a dog that can take active part in family get togethers if they have kids around.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:13 PM
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Check out Border terriers. I've been recommending them right and left because I REALLY want one. There's one in my future, sometime, I can assure you. I've only met one in person, but they are super awesome little dogs. Maybe a little smaller than what you're looking for, and I'm not sure how they would do around your cockatoo, but otherwise they meet a lot of your criteria.

And ZOMG are they cute.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:25 PM
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I immediately thought acd but they may not make the best therapy dogs.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:19 PM
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Border collie? I don't know a TON about them, but they seem to fit most of your criteria - IF you get one from the right breeder.

I have a smooth collie, and he's a freaking amazing dog They (or rough collies, if you want to deal with the hair) may fit pretty well too.

Quote:
A dog that is likely to have a very long lifespan, without health concerns
Collies are pretty healthy - the biggest issues are Collie Eye Anomaly and MDR1, really. MDR1 doesn't affect their health directly, it just means you have to be careful with certain drugs. Logan was recently anesthetized for a tooth extraction (broke it on an antler) and we used reduced anesthetic dosages just in case (I haven't tested him yet). He was actually kind of hard to keep under and woke up SUPER fast with no side effects (he was his normal self when I took him home that evening, a mere 5-6 hours after his surgery). This is an indicator that he is NOT an MDR1 dog - if he was, he would have been easier to keep under and would not have recovered as quickly from anesthesia. It's VERY common in collie, but not every collie has it, and again it deson't really affect their health or working ability to have it.

Collie Eye Anomaly can affect their vision depending on severity, but it can also cause absolutely no problems. They are screened for it as pups, and it usually doesn't get worse with age. Logan was very, very mild CEA (mild choroidal hypoplasia) - the only things I notice is that he has "red eyes" in photographs instead of blue/green eyeshine - but at night I do still notice a faint eyeshine. His tapetum lucidum is there, it's just not as fucntional as it is in a normal dog. That COULD mean he has reduced night vision, but I haven't really noticed it, and he does work at night quite often. Other than that it doesn't affect him AT ALL.


Quote:
A dog that will be very devoted to me.
My boxer is super clingy. Logan cna be cuddly and loves affection, but he's got an independent streak too. He's not stifling, but he's without a doubt devoted to me. He sleep in bed with me every night. Right now he's laying at my feet on the floor, even though he has the option of laying in my bed, two well-bedded crates, or the giant pile of extra blankets and pillows. He's without a doubt MY dog.


Quote:
A dog that will be my partner for long, difficult hikes and very long runs.
Logan can go and go and go, and then go some more. BUT, he also has a fantastic off-switch. Gavroche is actually better for difficult terrain simply because he's more coordinated, but most collies are more coordinated than Logan. He's a bit clumsy lol.


Quote:
A dog that will be an excellent agility candidate.
I don't really do much agility, but Logan does know how to jump and does not hesitate to try other obstacles. Likes I said he is a bit clumsy. His littermate sister has been doing fairly well in agility, though, last I heard. Logan is HUGE for a collie, at the very top end of the standard. His sister is significantly smaller (as are his parents...he's just a giant lol). So you may want to look for a smaller, more compact collie instead of a big one. But I needed a big one, which makes him more perfect for my needs.


Quote:
Depending on when I get the dog, and my other commitments at that time, I would really like to get involved in SAR.
Logan was originally supposed to be a SAR dog. I actually asked his breeder about a different dog, but she told me Logan would be a better choice for my needs. I don't do SAR with him, but he has the talent there. When I did his ATTS test, the evaluator told me he'd be a fantastic SAR dog based on the way he was scenting between stations. He is my service dog and he does use some of those skills while working - he knwos how to find the car, exits, bathrooms, and home by scent. Not only that, he finds the WOMEN'S bathrooms, and has never taken me to the men's room, even in places we've never been before.


Quote:
A temperament suitable for therapy work would be awesome.
Logan is bombproof. If he does startle, it's VERY brief with a very rapid recovery. Part of this is him as an individual, because not all collies are like that - and that's going to be true for any breed. When it was time for gunshots at his ATTS test his only reaction was to move his ears to locate the sound. He would make a FANTASTIC therapy dog (as soon as I find the right organization) and IS a fantastic service dog. He does love pretty much anybody, but when he's working he knows not to solicit attention. He'll just acknowledge that someone walked by with a wag of his tail lol. He just was a wonderful temperament that I cannot praise highly enough.


Quote:
Able to get along with a Cockatoo.
Logan ADORES birds. We have chickens, and he'll stand at the fence of the chicken run and just watch them, and the chickens will come up to the fence and watch Logan. He also loves wild birds. If he were to injure a bird, I'm sure it would be 100% by accident out of clumsiness. So as long as the dog is raised well, socialised to the bird, and taught to be very careful and gentle, I see that part working out very well.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:37 PM
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Except for the health issues, I thought boxer. They might be a little iffy on an agility course though...definitely able and willing if they're in good health, but many might not be right for serious competition.

Catahoula was another thought, but they can sometimes have issues with DA. (as can ACDs).

An aussie might be a good choice, actually!
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